Pacific Justice Institute has been contacted by several parents, teachers and residents of Modesto who have strong concerns about the proposed policy’s erosion of parental rights. PJI will be sending a legal opinion letter to the school board this week explaining that current law clearly allows them to notify parents anytime their children are absent from school, for any reason.
“This should be a no-brainer,” said Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute. “Parents are the first and foremost caregivers and authority figures in their kids’ lives. A school district that chooses to deliberately hide from parents the fact that their child has had a major medical procedure, or is seeking counseling for serious emotional or substance abuse problems, is asking for a lawsuit.”
The “confidential medical services” policy will be discussed next by the Modesto school board at its meeting on Monday, August 3. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Board Room of the Staff Development Center Building, 425 Locust Street. Concerned parents are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting, as several board members have indicated initial approval of the proposed policy. A formal vote is expected in late August.
Thanks to an outcry by parents and the hard work of PJI ally Karen England, Executive Director of Capitol Resource Institute, the Fairfield-Suisun School District recently rejected similar attempts to excuse students for “confidential medical services” without their parents’ knowledge.